LAS VEGAS – Lonzo Ball v. De’Aaron Fox, Part III, will have to wait.
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the highly anticipated NBA summer league face-off on Monday night between Ball, the Lakers’ new point guard out of UCLA, and Fox, the Sacramento Kings point guard from Kentucky, won’t happen because Ball is recovering from a groin injury. Ball, who struggled in his summer league debut that his father, LaVar, called his “worst game ever” but had a triple-double in his second showing, is expected to return to action in the coming days.
The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the decision had not yet been announced by the team.
De'Aaron Fox's since-deleted tweet, presumably in reference to no rematch with Ball. pic.twitter.com/tnHVfOxAAw— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) July 10, 2017
Not long after news broke of Ball’s status, Fox — who first met Ball on the AAU circuit and spoke at length about the budding rivalry with the Sacramento Bee recently — tweeted a palm-to-face emoji that was deleted soon thereafter. Presumably, he was as disappointed as the rest of the basketball world that these two young point guards wouldn’t be sharing the floor again.
While Ball was taken with the second overall pick in the June draft, Fox — who went fifth overall to the Kings — has been candid about his view that he’s the best point guard of this 2017 group. The two faced each other twice last season, with UCLA winning a regular-season matchup on Dec. 3 (Fox had 20 points, nine assists and two turnovers; Ball had 14 points, seven assists and six turnovers) and Kentucky ending the Bruins’ season in their Sweet Sixteen showing (Fox had 39 points, four assists and one turnover; Ball had 10 points, eight assists and four turnovers).